Pat gets a dangerously unstable no-prize for bringing us news of Mt. St. Helens's latest shenanigans:
A series of unusually strong earthquakes — exceeding magnitude 3 — has been reported in recent days by the Cascades Volcano Laboratory in Vancouver, Wash., about 50 miles south of the mountain. The latest was a magnitude 3.1 quake early Thursday that was accompanied by a rockfall.
Rockfalls during the quakes send up plumes of ash. Some tower thousands of feet above the 8,364-foot crater rim; a March plume reached 30,000 feet, raising concerns about area air traffic. Some plumes don't escape the crater and some wispy, gritty puffs crest just above the rim.
Now, far as I can remember, you can stomp your feet and get a 3.0 earthquake out of it if the sensor is next to you. So "strong" seems to be pretty relative here. Still, if said 3.0 earthquake is strong enough to shake apart fragile yet multi-tonned bits of mountain and send them crashing down slopes like God's own bowling alley, well, I'll just stand back here and watch then, thank you!